Do Hedgehogs Have Tails?

Hedgehogs make adorable pets with their pointy noses and small ears. These mammals love being on their own but make great companions for cuddling. If you have a hedgehog, you may have often wondered about the tiny stub known as its tail.

Unfortunately, many people cannot view the tail and do not know if hedgehogs even have one. The truth is hedgehogs are so much more than their spines.

Yes, hedgehogs do have a tail, but it is small so many people do not realise that they have one. 

It is not easy for most pet parents and people who are not hedgehog experts to recognize the tail.

A hedgehog’s tail is not easily recognizable because it is short and covered with quills. Hence, it can be easy for your eye to overlook the tail. Unfortunately, a hedgehog’s tail is not usually the topic of discussion like its quills.

How Long is a Hedgehog Tail?

Animals such as cats and dogs have long tails, but a hedgehog does not.

A hedgehog has a small tail which is about two centimetres at most. Some hedgehogs can have shorter tails of around one centimetre. A hedgehog will not have a tail longer than five centimetres. 

Some species of hedgehogs have tiny tails that are not actually visible, and these are called tail-less hedgehogs.

What Does a Hedgehog Tail Look Like?

The length of a hedgehog’s tail varies from one to another, but all tails appear the same.

All species of hedgehogs have small tails, almost like stubs. These tails are covered with spines. The sharp spines protect the tail and do not make it easily visible.

Be careful not to confuse the hedgehog tail in your male hedgehog for a penis. The penis is in the lower-middle area of the hedgehog’s abdomen, while the tail is located at the end of its body.

Can Hedgehogs Wag Its Tail?

Tails are infamous for one thing, and that is wagging. Dogs are known to wag their tails, and cats can swish their tails around to display their emotions. Pet owners have a question which is that can their hedgehog wag its tail?

Hedgehogs can wag their tails, but not to display their emotions but rather for protection purposes. Generally, a hedgehog’s tail does not swing from side to side but rather up and down. Some hedgehogs can, however, wag their tails from side to side.

If your hedgehog does wag its tail, it is not that noticeable unless you pay close attention. If there has been a change in your hedgehog’s surroundings, it will pick it up and wag its tail. Your hedgehog can also wag its tail if it is trying to detect danger.

In the wild, when hedgehogs hunt and forage through the ground, they can wag their tails. According to some research, a hedgehog’s tail acts as an antenna, letting it detect danger from its surroundings.

A hedgehog can detect any natural disasters, predators, and other animals in its vicinity with its tail.

Is a Hedgehog’s Tail Useful?

A hedgehog can wag its tail, we know, but does the tail serve a purpose beyond that? What does a hedgehog do with its short tail?

Although your hedgehog’s tail may appear useless because of its size, it is quite useful. When hedgehogs sense danger or feel threatened, they curl themselves into a spiked ball for protection.

A hedgehog’s quills turn spiky in a ball position, and the spiked tail covers its region, protecting it.

Often hedgehogs are compared to porcupines, and although they both have spines, their protection method is different. Instead of curling into a spiked ball, porcupines will swish their tails around and let the spikes fall to intimidate predators.

There have been more studies conducted to know why hedgehogs use their tails.

Hedgehogs may use their tails to communicate with other hedgehogs. The tail acts as a signal that hedgehogs can understand each other. The most common form of communication using tails observed in hedgehogs is between a mother and her young hoglets.

Mother hedgehogs may their young hoglets about predators or any danger that may come their way.

The tail of a hedgehog also contributes to its balance and the way its body moves. In difficult situations when a hedgehog may be stuck or in water, the tail is useful.

A hedgehog’s body is designed in a manner that helps it move around and manoeuvre out of places. Although the tail is short and barely visible, your hedgehog may have difficulty walking and maintaining balance without it.

A hedgehog’s tail is an important part of its body, as small as it is.

Do All Hedgehogs Have Tails?

All hedgehogs have tails, whether they are male or female or belong to different species. However, a hedgehog’s tail length varies according to its species. Compared with other animals, hedgehogs will have shorter tails that cannot easily be seen as they are covered with quills.

Species of hedgehogs such as Amur will have longer tails than most hedgehogs. This breed of hedgehogs will have tails as short as 1 cm and as long as 6 cm.


Hedgehogs make adorable pets with their long noses and tiny ears. A hedgehog is covered with quills, and quite often, people do not notice that it even has a tail.

A hedgehog’s tail is small and no longer than five centimetres. All hedgehogs’ tails may differ in length due to different species, but they all appear to be the same. Hedgehogs can wag their tails which indicates that they sense some danger.

Moreover, hedgehogs can use their tails to communicate with other hedgehogs. The tails also serve a purpose to maintain balance and let the hedgehog manoeuvre.

A hedgehog’s tail is useful to detect any predators and other animals around it. However, a hedgehog wagging its tail may not be noticeable to you.

All hedgehogs have tails regardless of their gender and species. A hedgehog’s tail protects it when it turns into a spiked ball by covering the soft area.

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here